Whew! What a month!
My MS AWARENESS CAMPAIGN may have ended, but I
I truly believe that purpose is what life is all about. Without
purpose we really do not have much reason to get out of
bed, do we?
During the month of March, I wrote 31 blogs in 31 days.
Maybe not consecutively, but there are 31 blogs to my
credit. The reason I did this? The purpose?
Because I can no longer physically participate the many
wonderful MS walks, runs, swims, etc. by way of paying it
forward, I decided to offer comfort through personal
advice and information. Monetarily I donated proceeds of
my book sales (with the assistance of many, many
thoughtful contributors) to National Multiple Sclerosis
Society. The amount of our donation?
With a combination of book sales and personal donations
(anonymous as well as identified), I am putting a check in
the mail to for the amount of $100.00!!!! (Okay, I know I
have over done the exclamation marks. I apologize to all of
my author friends and former students.)
Because that was my initial goal, I am very pleased.
More happened to me and for me during this personal
1. I have been asked by NMSS to start a Marion County
MS support group chapter. Am I excited, nervous,
anxious? You bet. I will keep you posted on that. (Not my
emotions, but the progress of said chapter.)
2. I have grown to enjoy blogging. I actually despised the
activity prior to this; but my documented readership has
grown tremendously and I know there are more views
than actual followers. If I am filling a need by spreading
awareness, this has been more than worth it.
3. I have made new friends! This humbles me. Thank you
all for hanging out with me.
4. I put MS Awareness out there for the public with an
appearance on the nightly news (If you do not live within
my geographical viewing area, I will post a link soon).
Mention of my campaign has appeared in at least three
state newspapers. I have booked two speaking
engagements in Marion County. Contacts have been
made and people are thinking about multiple sclerosis.
Looks like March held a specific purpose for me.
And here is where I get to plug someone else's book.
I read Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life as part of a
sermon series offered in my church several years ago.
Following our congregational study of this book, I decided
that this would be the perfect Christmas gift for several
people on my list. I don't know if they read it, but I hope so.
The lessons learned from reading this have stayed with
me for along time.
I do not remember the exact date of this study at First
United Methodist Church (now Life United Methodist
Church) in Fairmont, WV, but it coincided with my MS
diagnosis in some way.
The subtitle haunts me: What on Earth Am I Here For?
Yesterday was further proof of Gd's purpose.
I always attend the last of our three Sunday services, but
for some reason I decided to try the middle time slot. I
was to find a nearly empty sanctuary. The 11:15 service is
usually packed. I had been under the impression that
10:00 was equally populated.
Pastor Larry announced prior to Communion that he
would actually be leaving after performing a very special
baptism. Pastor Clyde would provide the sermon, but
Pastor Larry had been personally requested for the baptism.
When Larry asked for Julie to come forward, my church
friend looked sincerely confused. She is actually a very
active part of our small group team. Why did she need to
come forward to be baptized? Did she need a do-over?
Well, it wasn't her receiving the sacrament.
Her husband Bobby was the one being baptized. Much to
Julie's unexpected surprise. she had no idea that Bobby
had planned this.
And I had no idea that Julie's husband was the brother to
a dear friend of mine from years ago. He had actually
been my neighbor during a very dark time in my life. His
sister had even lived with him for a brief time.
DeeDee died young. Far too young. Dee had lived with
congestive heart disease, but made the best of her
time on earth.
She was a crazy one, that DeeDee. We
served side-by-side as officers in our local VFW Ladies
Auxiliary. We were drinking buddies and confidants in
different aspects of life. Her daughter Jessica became a
very important part of my teaching curriculum by serving
in the US Army, overseas and in actual combat; following
in her father's footsteps. Between sibling Jessica and her
sister Danielle, they provided DeeDee and her husband
with several beautiful grandchildren. DeeDee loved her
step children (twins David and Peter) with the same
passion as she bestowed upon her biological children.
DeeDee and Bill even fostered a number of homeless
I think of DeeDee often. She had a purpose. That purpose
was to live her limited days surrounded by LIFE and
I just didn't make the connection with Julie. In fact, I had
no idea that Julie's husband was Dee's brother. I didn't
even remember possibly knowing Julie in a prior life
When Bobby met his wife at the alter, I knew there was
reason I was here at this service time. Pastor Clyde's
sermon confirmed that. He spoke of the Un's of Easter,
the first begin the Unexpected.
Everything about this Sunday was rather
unexpected. There was a purpose for my presence at the
So, as you go about your new week, think of purpose.
What is your purpose?
There is a reason that we are afflicted with multiple
sclerosis. There was a reason for DeeDee's situation.
I do not proclaim to know the reason nor do I profess to
be an expert on actions of God. I just know that March has
touched me in many ways and that DeeDee is looking
down on her brother right now and nodding in approval.
And she is smiling her silly, lopsided smile that I was there
to witness his commitment.
Tell me to get off my pulpit!
MS Awareness Month may be over, but I am not going
I have a purpose. (Not to be confused with Steve Martin's
special purpose in The Jerk. Love that movie.)
Okay, I will stop preaching and leave that to the experts.
Have a wonderful day. The sun is shining in Monongah,